Common has long used his influence to address the issue of mass incarceration in America, channeling his anger into activism and using his music — like his latest effort Black America Again — as a vehicle to help drive change. Now the multihyphenate has announced he will occupy Capitol Mall in Sacramento, California, on Monday for Imagine Justice, a free concert created to raise awareness and advocate for justice reform.
“As an artist, I believe it is my duty to fight injustice wherever it appears and take a stand for my fellow brothers and sisters,” Common said in a statement posted to the event’s site. “I believe it is my responsibility to use my platform to amplify the courageous voices of the movement and support the most marginalized members of our society.”
Common recently ended his Hope & Redemption tour, four-day run where the rapper visited prisons to speak with inmates about their own experiences in the criminal justice system and performed for the inmates.
“My experience on the Hope & Redemption Prison Tour has been emotional, inspiring and impactful for me,” he wrote in an Instagram post Tuesday. “I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to inspire hope in these men and women in the prisons and leverage my platform to make a difference. The prison concerts were just the beginning.”
My experience on the Hope & Redemption Prison Tour has been emotional, inspiring and impactful for me. I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to inspire hope in these men and women in the prisons and leverage my platform to make a difference. The prison concerts were just the beginning. Since March, I’ve met with various legislators about criminal justice reform bills, participated in a number of community events and continued my visits to state prisons throughout California. Next Monday at 6 PM, I’ll be hosting a special community concert, @ImaginexJustice, on Capitol Mall in Sacramento to advocate for criminal justice reform and share a message of hope, love, and compassion with J. Cole, Goapele, Van Jones and many more. The next day, I’ll join multiple organizations in the State Capitol for several meetings with the California Governor and other legislators to discuss a number of upcoming bills. After my visit to the State Capitol, I’ll travel to Folsom State Prison to perform for the men in prison. Photos by @SadeCJoseph